Canada: Gunmen kill six and injure others in attack on mosque in Quebec

An ambulance is parked at the scene of a fatal shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Al-JAzeera – At least six people were killed in a shooting at a mosque in Quebec City during evening prayers, police said.

Gunmen fired on about 40 people inside the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre on Sunday at 8pm local time (01:00 GMT).

“Six people are confirmed dead – they range in age from 35 to about 70,” Quebec provincial police spokeswoman Christine Coulombe told reporters, adding eight people were wounded and 39 were unharmed.

Police said two suspects had been arrested, but gave no details about them or what prompted the attack.

The mosque’s president, Mohamed Yangui, was not inside the mosque at the time of the shooting. He received frantic calls from worshippers.

He said: “Why is this happening here? This is barbaric.”

Speaking to Al Jazeera by phone, he said: “One of the administrators called me and said there was a shooting at the mosque. I am still in shock. I ran to the mosque … I was told that one attacker was arrested at the scene while another one was arrested nearby.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the shooting as a “terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge”.

“Muslim Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country,” he said in a statement.

The shooting came on the weekend that Trudeau said Canada would welcome refugees, after US President Donald Trump suspended America’s refugee programme and temporarily barred citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

Philippe Couillard, premier of Quebec, said on Twitter that Sunday’s attack “is a terrorist act”, and called for “solidarity with Quebecers of the Muslim faith”.

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